Dreamworker is a retired educator who spent 26 years teaching in both middle and high schools nationwide.
Whether you realize it or not, US public education systems have already begun to morph into what they will eventually become in the future.
The movement towards major change that began quietly in the early 1980’s has been picking up speed ever since and is now in the process of bringing sweeping changes to how we educate our young.
Whether they will be good for society or bad, we cannot tell.
Either way, they are here to stay.
There are several issues that have led to the changes we are now seeing in our schools.
- Advancements in technology,
- Increasing violence,
- The charter school movemen,t
- An increased push for civil rights,
- Changes in the family structure and
- Implementation of child protection laws
have all played major roles in the rapid decline of our public education systems, and each has contributed to the dumbing down of our children.
This has not been an accident. The truth is that the less educated a population is, the easier it is to manipulate them.
One example of this is a video (shown below) that recently appeared on YouTube where a moderator stopped young women on a California street to ask them if they thought Hillary Clinton’s plan to support Sharia Law in the US was a good idea.
First, there is no such plan, but second, and more importantly, every one of them except for two, wholeheartedly agreed that implementing such a plan would be a good idea.
They obviously were not aware that Clinton had no such plan or that Sharia Law supports the subjugation of women.
When we avoid teaching people how to think and analyze, we create a society rife with problems, and this is what we are now seeing.
This trend will only worsen in the future because the powers that be have manipulated our schools in such a way as to create a population of people who are unable to research, think about and analyze problems for themselves.
Advancements in Technology
Everybody thought it was a great thing when computers were introduced into the classroom.
The problem was that few teachers originally were computer literate enough to use them properly.
However, once they were trained, they began to depend on such tech devices to enhance their teaching and even do a lot of it for them.
Kids, of course, loved the new classroom toys, demanded that their parents buy some for them to use at home and thus became addicted.
The good news was that they learned a great deal. The bad news was that they became so used to allowing devices to do their thinking for them, that they eventually forgot how to think for themselves!
With problems of overcrowding, school violence, and teacher shortages looming, the next step is what we are seeing today: distance learning.
Right now, in states such as Florida, young people can stay home and learn lessons on their computers that are taught to them by state certified teachers who make sure that the guidelines are met and students are properly tested and vetted each school year.
At the moment participation is voluntary, but because it is much less expensive to school our young this way, you can expect distance learning via technology to become the standard way of educating K-12 kids.
In some ways this will complicate life for parents who have become used to having schools become their babysitters, but those days are fast disappearing.
On the other hand, parents no longer will have to worry about clashes with teachers, the inherent dangers of the schools their children attend or transportation issues.
Furthermore, the education will be more standardized.
What will happen to those children who are learning disabled, physically or mentally disabled or language deficient has yet to be decided, but clearly distance learning will not be a good option for them.
As with other things in today’s world, violence has become an increasingly serious problem in our schools.
Educators are ill equipped to handle it, and many have either been injured or killed as a result.
To deal with this issue, many schools have installed weapons monitors and video systems. They also have armed police officers on duty every day.
However, some facilities can house as many as 2,000 students but only have one or two hundred adults to oversee them. Therefore, they will need more effective ways of protecting students.
This will cost money which school systems will not be able to afford.
Thus, the best ways to deal with this situation are to do such things as
- Moving as many students as possible to other learning venues,
- Going back to using smaller facilities so that student populations are more manageable and/or
- Using adult volunteers as school monitors.
However, only the first choice is realistic because building smaller schools will be too costly, and asking adults to volunteer to monitor school children creates a number of problems that may be insurmountable.
However, the move towards both Charter schools and online learning are two ways that help to address the first issue and eventually may be the only means for students to become educated outside of home schooling or attending expensive private schools.
These choices will result in the loss of many jobs, but will effectively address teacher shortages and many of the other issues mentioned here.
The Charter School Movement
A number of years ago George W. Bush started the movement towards privatizing the public school system in Texas. His brother, Jeb, implemented this same idea in Florida after he became its Governor.
Now there are Charter Schools in just about every state.
These schools are hybrids between private and public schools, are sanctioned by their states and are funded by money that would normally go to public schools.
- Without those funds the public schools have less money available to hire employees, maintain their facilities and educate students.
- However, Charter Schools relieve the public school systems of many financial and logistical burdens.
It’s a double edged sword, but one that is here to stay, even though a certain percentage of these schools have failed and many do a poor job of educating kids.
The Push for Increased Civil Rights
Attending public school has become an increasingly difficult problem for young people because it is difficult to learn and function when so many people are demanding that their needs be met.
- Just using the bathroom is now an issue due to current protestations of cross gender kids as is having to worry about physical safety when confronted with mentally deficient students who can pretty much do as they please without consequences.
- Parents of Special Ed kids now take their lawyers with them to teacher conferences to make sure that teachers provide them with appropriate educational plans, and schools must worry about lawsuits if they fail to comply.
- There are also special rules for ESOL students that are difficult to follow and can also result in legal actions.
People are so busy demanding their rights that they are sucking school systems dry, causing teachers to leave and depleting the opportunity for other children to learn.
These are all things that contribute to the downfall of schools and will eventually become a total reality in the future.
Changes in the Family Structure
For the first time in the history of the United States, there are more single parents than those who are married.
Even when there are two parents, many refuse to marry and thus cause a certain amount of instability within the family.
The impact this has had on the schools has been enormous.
While some single parents do a decent job of raising their kids, many do not. As a result, there are many behavior problems and class disruptions that impede the learning process.
This affects the entire student population negatively and is undoubtedly one of the reasons why distance learning has been implemented.
It’s here, and one day the parents of disruptive children are going to discover that schools can insist they keep their children home and use distance learning rather than coming to schooling
State laws say that children must attend school until the age of 16, but they do not say that their education must take place within the confines of an educational facility. As long as the opportunity for an education is provided, it will be legal for schools to remove problem kids from their buildings.
This will be a very difficult situation for single parents, but in the long run may encourage young adults to wait until they are married to have kids!
Implementation of Child Protection Laws
Another problem in recent years has been the increasingly strict child protection laws which have seriously impacted the way classrooms are structured.
The Individuals With Disabilities and No Child Left Behind Acts have tied the hands of educators and forced them to mainstream children who really should be educated separately due to their problems.
Today's average classroom of today has approximately 35 students, 5 of which will be language impaired and 3 to 5 of which will be disabled on a level that makes them a distraction to the classroom.
For example, a deaf child must have an interpreter with him, a blind child must be able to use a noisy braille writer and an extremely physically handicapped student may need a helper with him to deal with breathing tubes. Furthermore, some of the mentally handicapped students can be quite violent.
Yet, those two laws make it impossible to separate such students into environments that actually would be better for them as well as students who do not have such issues.
- If the schools of the future are truly going to educate children, laws such as these either will have to be amended or removed.
- If this does not happen, we will see an ever increasing exodus from the standard school setting that will eventually lead to the closing of all schools nationwide.
The Future of Our Educational System Is a Mixed Bag
As you can see, our educational system in the US is now sitting on the cusp of major changes that will seriously effect learning environments, cause job loss and force parents into situations that will require them to spend more money and/or time to see to it that their children become educated.
Technology will continue to evolve, there will be more Charter Schools, more people will be home schooling their children and students with special needs will once again go to schools geared to meeting their specific needs.
There will be fewer instances of violence, but many children will lose the opportunities for learning socialization skills that schools provide.
Thus, places such as YMCAs, Boy and Girl Scouts, and other such groups will rise in popularity to fill the void.
For years many of the responsibilities that should have gone to parents have been handled by the schools, but as time goes on that will change.
There will be fewer free “baby sitters”, more parental involvement and, in the end, perhaps a return to the standard family structure we have enjoyed in the past.
The educational systems of the future are already here, but they are in their very early stages. They have both good and bad points, but it is clear that the old ways of educating children are fast disappearing.
© 2016 Sondra Rochelle